tv The Intelligence Report With Trish Regan FOX Business January 11, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm EST
be done. i'm trish regan, welcome everyone to "the intelligence report". president-elect donald trump taking aim at unverified, unproven, salacious and inflammatory media reports about him. >> i think it's a disgrace that information would be let out. i saw the information, i read the information oue of that meeting, it'all fake news, it's phony stuff, it didn't happen, it should never have -- number one never have entered paper, never have been released. but i read what was releasid and think it's a disgrace. it's an absolute disgrace. trish: all this as nominee for secretary of state rex tillerson faces protesters and questions from some of trump's former rivals. >> is vladimir putin a war criminal? >> i would not use that term. >> there's so much information out there, it should not be hard to say that vladimir putin's military conducted war crimes in aleppo. >> i'm not willing to make
conclusions on what is only publicly available or publicly reported. >> none of this is classified, mr. tillerson, these people are dead. political opponents -- >> your question was people who are directly responsible for that. i'm notdisputing these people are dead. >> okay, we're going to have more on the contentious hearing shortly. first to connell mcshane outside trump tower with donald trump vowed to separate himself from the empire he's built. connell, how's he going to do it? >> reporter: you know, it's interesting, trish, this was the original topic of the news conference in december whether it was scheduled. when we knew to your point that russia would dominate and it did. but the question of separation from the business interest of mr. trump was addressed. we used the word separate, isolation is what was used by mrtrumand his lawyer. nobody is using the word divest. he's not selling assets. he's not going forward with a plan to divest from all the
assets he has around the world with officials saying that would not be realistic. instead he explained what he is actually doing this way -- >> what i'm going to be doing is, my two sons, who are right here, don and eric, are going to be running the company. they're going to be running it in a very professional manner. they're not going to discuss it with me. again, i don't have to do this. they're not going to discuss it with me, and with that, i'm going to bring up sherry dylan and he's going to go, these papers are just some of the many documents i've signed, turning over complete and total control to my sons. >> reporter: pile of folders he's alluding to next to the podium. one of his lawyers did come up and explain to us how they plan to go forward with all of this. she made a few points. one of the key points she did make is there would be no new
foreign deals when mr. trump is president. he tweeted out some time ago, no new deals for two sons, eric and don, jr., no new foreign deals, the domestic deals will be allowed but closely scrutinized. to that point about foreign deals, mr. trump spoke in the news conference about an offer he received over the weekend for a $2 billion deal from a company in dubai. he says he turned it down, and it's been confirmed from the company involved that that is exactly what happened. turned the deal down. trish: america did elect their first businessman president, connell, thank you so much. joining me for more analysis, peter morici and former adviser to bill clinton simon rosenberg. good to see both of you guys. simon, this isn't enough for you. tell us why. >> well, many of the ethics lawyers that looked at this, it's unprecedented, never been through anything like this before, and what the line that
everybody drew on this is about divestiture, about him not moving away from control of the company but actually releasing control over the assets themselves, and so he wouldn't personally benefit from the decisions that were made or things he did while in the white house. this is not going to pass muster for people studying this closely. trish: simon, does it pass muster for you? >> no, i'm one of those people. trish: what is it doing? he's building a multibillion dollar empire, are you suggesting he sell it in a fire sale right now? >> yes, do a public audit he releases about what his holdings are, it's a secret business empire. he could have hundreds of billions of dollars of deals with the russians. trish: so you want him to sell off everything he owns. >> and to do a public audit. trish: and you would insure the fact that no other businessman or woman would want to be president of the united states because you are going to
annihilate your own wealth. let's talk about -- look, we do a lot of m&a coverage, mergers and acquisitions on the network, i've done it throughout my career. when you sell a company, it takes years, tons of due diligence. if you were to sell this in a fire sale or asset by asset, it would be incredibly difficult in part because you are not dealing with a liquid portfolio. these are real estate holdings? >> impossible to meet mr. rosenberg's requirements. you can't sell the assets that quickly. selling them within a reasonable amount of time would force him to take fire sale prices in a great ammunition ofo wealth. this is the typical democratic position, people that are successful are not qualified to hold high public office unless they are successful in between the presidencies of one clinton and another by selling their time for huge sums of money. nothing more that donald trump
could do today, even as this is structured, it's going to cost a great deal of money. the fact he cannot do foreign deals would indicate he's going to be stuck, his assets frozen and have to take losses he would not otherwise have taken. his domestic deals will have to go before an ethics officer and be screened by independent party. simon rosenberg is simply imposing conditions no successful businessman with direct investments can satisfy to be president of the united states. trish: peter is making the point, and i in so many words making it as well, you are being incredibly unrealistic here and more unrealistic than the american public. guess what? they knew he was a businessman. >> current polls are are worried about the conflicts of interest that are going to come up during his presidency. i'll give you one long example. let's say he's got secret business dealings in saudi arabia and business partner in
saudi arabia is one of the biggest funders of isin its region. we have no way of knowing that, it could be exploited by intelligence. trish: he's already made it clear he's not going to do foreign deals. >> existing deals, existing relationships that can be exploited. trish: have you created a scenario which no one, maybe it's a community organizer and devoted their life to democratic holdings within your party. >> it's not true. hold on, i'm having a lot of trouble with the notion that it is not true! i don't know how anybody with these kinds of assets manages to divest them? trish: leave it, there right? because you can't possibly. >> so we should accept a level of corruption, accept a level of corruption. trish: no, no, no, no, no, absolutely not, and the american people need to hold him accountable. the guy is not in office yet [inaudible]. trish: all right, all right, all right, i can't hear anyone, you're talking over each other. simon finish your thought and over to peter.
>> we have no idea what his assets are, they're secret. he's not issued tax returns. what i would be satisfied with if he did public audit of outside organization to come in and tell us what assets are and make sure there are no investments with bad people around the world, no russians. trish: simon, he can have a multitude of different things. you want him to sell everything and be completely done with the business. >> i do. >> you are saying you don't want that? you will be satisfied with an audsnit. >> we're not getting divestiture, what i'll settle for is to acknowledge and list every single loan and business arrangement he has. it's a reasonable thing. by the way, that would be required of anyone else going into the government, including rex tillerson by the way. trish: rex tillerson, i want to point out people made this comparison as well, and peter you can elaborate on this. rex tillerson can far more easily divest himself of any
ties to exxon by selling his stock, right? this is what hank paulson did, he had goldman stock, it's in the blind trust, when have you built a massive business, peter for people like simon to expect you stel to the highest bidder, in this case, it would be the lowest bidder, they know you got to sell it if you want to continue as president of the united states. that's a recipe for setting up the scenario where no one successful runs for office. >> absolutely. we have a case of demagoguery and attempt to relitigate the election. >> peter, come on. trish: let peter finish. >> the notion of releasing his tax returns whether or not that should or shouldn't be done, shed considerable light on his holdings now is absolute nonsense. he was correct in the press conference that thematerials that the federal election commission tell us far more about the details. whether he should lay out all
his holdings and debts and so forth. . i go along with that. let's face it. the situation is so complex, no matter how hard he tried to lay it all out, they would find problems with it. trish: you know why? many members of the left do not understand business. >> no, they don't believe in business! >> they don't understand how complicated this stuff is. >> for the last eight years, barack obama demonstrated that the democrats don't believe in private enterprise, period. trish: i appreciate hearing from you, simon. thank you for sharing your thoughts, and peter, always a pleasure sir. more news to get to. president-elect donald trump blasting cnn and buzzfeed for publishing unverified, unproven and highly salacious story about him. >> disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out. i think it's a disgrace, and i
say that, and i say that, and that's something that nazi germany would have done and did do. i think it's pre intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. i think it's pretty sad. first of all, it's illegal. trish: i want to show you right now an exchange that also happened between a cnn reporter and donald trump at that very same press conferenc remember, donald trump is going after buzzfeed, the organization that originally leaked all this unverified, disputed information, and cnn then put it out there as well. here you go. >> attacking our news organization, you can give us a chance? you are attacking our news organization, you can give us a chance to ask a question, sir? >> quiet, quiet. >> mr. president-elect, you can give us a question -- >> don't be rude. >> can you give us a question? can you give us a question? >> i am not going to give you a question. >> you can state categorically. >> you are fake news. trish: wow, this is the president-elect's press
conference? can you imagine a reporter doing that to president obama? there is some kind of decorum, right? that you're supposed to have when you go into a situation like that. the cnn reporter egging him on and egging him on in a way that frankly is not done in a press conference. joining me dan gainer from the media research center with his thoughts on all of it. first of all, your thoughts on the reporter from cnn that kept going back and back and back and interrupting him over and over again. >> this is the press going to war with president trump. >> or cnn going to war with president trump. >> you see the support he gets in the press room. it wasn't just cnn, it was cnn asks the question, and people go after it,hat's what they want. you've got brian stelter complaining about fake news and roll up the report based in part what we know to be utterly
unverifiable garbage! and yet our report is okay, buzzfeed is wrong. buzzfeed -- trish: they're trying to say, all right, we didn't put it out there to begin with, somehow we're okay, we're linking to what they have or reporting what they have and giving it all to you as well. let's talk about that, and let's talk about what buzzfeed did. where i come from, you verify information before you put it out there. you don't just put it out there and basically trade in gossip which is what essentially buzzfeed was doing. gossip, call it whatever you want, there is a responsibility you bring to the table as a journalist. you may have an opinion, a viewpoint on things, but at least your information should be authentic? >> well, where you're coming from is the real world of journalism. the society of professional journalists says the same thing, be truthful, don't race to put something out there -- trish: which, by the way are
unverified. >> i am glad you brought up the society of professional journalists. we can talk about things and have opinions on things, dispute things, but the essence based in fact. you take something that has happened and you pinon it, but you don't actually invent stuff. >> well, what buzzfeed is doing, then, is basing this on what they call unverified reports. this is a website devoted to kitten videos and gossip and we're calling it journalism. trish: don't forget, which princess are you most like? cinderella or sleeping beauty. >> yeah, which sandwich tells you your inner truth. that was from today. to call this legitimate journalism, this is like calling dog food filet mignon. trish: this makes me nervous in the environment we're in, where information is so readily
available and accessible, that's great, right? when you have so called journalists and ben smith who runs buzzfeed said basically this is the future of journalism in 2017, publishing this document was not easy or simple it. reflects how we see the jobs of reporters in 2017. what jobs is that? you get the garbage, you don't verify it, you don't have both sides, you just stick it out there? >> this is the same website that just a few weeks ago sabotaged the gaines couple, no website that openly declares it's not neutral on key issues. lgbt issues and others. but the rest of the media love them, they love to go on buzzfeed and look at listicals. if this is where journalism is going, it's going to be completely in the toilet. trish: i'll tell you one thing, that's not where journalism is going here. dan, thank you so much for holding people accountable the
way you do. hearings for secretary of state nominee rex tillerson, they've been interrupted by protesters several times. he is getting grilled on his ties to russia and russia's president vladimir putin and just exactly what relationship he may have with vladimir putin. listen into the protesters. we've got more on it next. with the xfinity tv app,
i've spent my life planting a size-six, non-slip shoe into that door. on this side, i want my customers to relax and enjoy themselves. but these days it's phon before forks. they want wifi out here. but behind that door, i need a private connection for my business. wifi pro from comcast business. public wifi for your customers. private wifi for your business. strong and secure. good for a door. and a network. comcast business. built for security. built for business. . trish: okay, wait a second, breaking news we want to get to you right now. donald trump meeting with bayer ceo to discuss takeover possibilities of monsanto. charlie gasparino has the story. >> we talked that bayer and monsanto were teaming up. $66 billion deal.
we broke it needed to pass regulatory muster. it was the obama administration, maybe a hillary clinton administration and possibly donald trump, as you know a more business friendly administration. the trump administration in there and what sources tell the fox business network that werner baumann and hugh grant, the ceo of monsanto, don't laugh. it's not the actor. cf1 o did just get done meeting with donald trump to press the case why the u.s. justice department is the justice department antitrust division that will probably be led byeff sessions, why they should approve the deal. it's going to need eu approval, justice department approval, this creates the largest company of its kind that combines seed production and all the stuff that bayer does, pharmaceuticals that bayer does, highly controversial, monsanto is the largest
producer of gmo, genetically modified foods, the critics of gmos are coming out against it. they had a fairly good meeting with donald trump, they said listen, please approve our deal. this will produce jobs -- let me get this out. will produce jobs in the u.s., which is the theme he's had. trish: that's where i was going to go with this. he's going to say potentially i'll be more favorable to this, providing can you tell me this is going to do something for us, american workers and adding to job creation? >> right, that's what they did. they went in there with chief banker michael kramer, they went in there with a pr strategist, arthur swartz from axiom partners to talk with mr. trump. they were seen as a matter of fact just a moment ago leaving trump tower where the meetings with ceos have taken place. he met with jack ma a couple of days ago. trish: how refreshing, you know
a ceo gets into meet with the president of the united states and the president of the united states is not throwing up obstacles to do deals and getting things done. >> you remember president obama liked to meet with hollywood but used to beat up and hate ceos, now we got the opposite. president-elect trump liking ceos, meeting with them every day and hates hollywood. interesting observation. trish: you are right. >> what they're playing to, trump is touting and it's a good thing, when he sees corporate chieftains, talks about deals, he wants to hear will you keep jobs in the u.s.? it will create jobs in the u.s.? i don't have all the details of the meeting, but from what i understand -- choking on my own story. from what i understand, they did tout job creation and keeping jobs here in the u.s. this is a conglomerate. trish: i like it, i like it, i like it, what is in it for us kind of approach. charlie gasparino, thank you.
the nomination hearings for rex tillerson, former head of exxon, they are resuming after a quick lunch break. let's listen in, here we go. >> response to the taking of crimea was met with, in my estimation a response that was less than i suspect the leadership of russia thought they would encounter, then the next move was logical to come across the eastern border of ukraine, it was pretty well known that there were elements in eastern ukraine that already were sympathetic to russia interests. >> so that might be a case then when crimea entered into eastern ukraine, this is a sign of weakness because we didn't respond in a way that would deter further actions? >> working with allies in the region and obviously working with the government in kiev, both. >> what you did do in those
cases was to put together with the europeans a way of sanctioning them economically but that was not sufficient in your mind to stop them from their aggressions? >> well, i think you're onto a really important point around sanctions, and obviously there's been a lot of questions about sanctions and so i think it's good to try to clarify my view on those. as i've said, sanctions are a powerful, important tool, and they can be used in two circumstances. one is to punish someone, or country for what they've already done. the other is to intervene and cause them not to do certain things, and in this case, clearly the sanctions that were put in place in response to crimea did not deter them from entering into the sanctions. >> is it your opinion our sanctions should have been much more severe, or do you think in that case, they should have
been a match of equal force, in other words, military action? >> the latter was my response in that in that situation, given the dramatic taking of crimea, that was a dramatic action, sanctions were going to be insufficient to deter the russian leadership from taking the next step. >> in your opinion, thinks it should have been military force, then? your opinion is it should have been military force? >> my opinion is there should have been a show of force, a military response in defensive posture, not offensive posture but defensive posture to send the message that it stops here, it stops here, and sanctions, in my view, taken after the fact were not going to be adequate to deter that. now, that's my opinion. we'll never know. >> right, but you know that if you put yourself in a defensive posture there's a saying if you pull a gun, you should be
prepared to use it, that could quickly escalate into a conflict and you're going to be making decisions whether we should commit american troops, commit european troops, if there's a military response, obviously, they weren't putting fork in crimea, it would have to come from someplace else do. you understand, that seems to be you are advocating for greater u.s. military power, greater u.s. military engagement in conflicts like the one we saw in ukraine? >> senator, i'm advocating for a response that will deter and prevent a further expansion of a bad actor's behavior. i would not in any way want anyone to take away the thought that i recommend that is the first action, and again, in any decision to respond with a show of force, that will be taken within the national security council and be fully informed by others including the department of defense and
intelligence agencies as to whether that would, in fact, first, can it be executed upon? can it be effective? but looking at other options as well. i'm not dismissive of the sanctions. >> you did characterize the obama administration's decision as weakness, even though you wouldn't necessarily do something different? >> i would have done something different. >> a show of force. >> a show of force from -- >> american force? >> ukrainian military force supported by the u.s. providing them with capable defensive weapons. if that's not seen across the border, it's not a show of force. >> switching gears now. it is an american value, the value of transparency in government, correct? >> yes. >> and accountability in government? >> yes. >> i have a concern, it's not a great one, you can allay it right now, that as a leader of
a private company, you made it clear in many ways you were first and foremost accountable to shareholders, employees and customers, but as secretary of state, you're accountable to the american public and would be expected to keep the media, the public constantly informed of general activities. and i just know that when my staff did a rough calculation of past secretaries's interactions with the press, clinton had over 2300. kerry had about 3,000. when you were at exxonmobil, it was a far, far smaller number but i imagine as secretary of state, you believe in the importance of transparency of engaging with the public, of answering to the questions that often come from the media? >> yes, and i indicated in my opening statement, that's part of earning the public trust is to engage with this committee, and that's a way to communicate
with the public as well. >> you will bring press corps as you travel overseas and communicate the interactions with the press? >> if confirmed, i will look into what would be appropriate to take. i've not gotten that far in my thinking. >> okay. through about issues of accountability and transparency? >> i've thought through, of accountability and transparency. your question was the size of my press corps, i think. >> no, sir, it was not. my question was access of the media and the public to the work of the secretary of state? >> we want to ensure at all times, if confirmed, the secretary of state and the state department is fully transparent with the public. that's part of my comment of being truthful and being -- and holding ourselves accountable as well as others accountable. >> okay. switching gears, and i'll get to this in the next round of questioning. i'm going to yield back, it's a
new line of questioning they have. >> okay. i will, just as a matter of sharing some information, the supplying of defense lethal defensive support to ukraine at a time when we were only sending used night-vision goggles and mres was something that was strongly supported in a bipartisan way on this committee under chairman menendez's leadership. i want to say that for the record. and so i didn't view the response to be necessarily in any way outside the norms of what this committee overwhelmingly supported at that time. just saying that for information, and i'm more than glad to talk more fully about that. we're going to start the second round, they're going to be seven minute rounds, and we're going to go in the same heard that we began.
if senator risch comes in, i would like to give him time since he was around earlier and now has a conflict. i will turn to senator carden again. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. first, in response to senator menendez's questions about lobbying in regards to the iran sanctions act, just to make the record complete, i want to ask consent the lobbying disclosure form from exxon mobil corporation that indicates that approximately $3.4 million was spent in lobbying on behalf of the iran sanctions act. put that into the record, mr. chairman? >> without objection. i wanted to be chairman. [laughter] >> putting information into the record. >> i understand you became chairman while i was talking. >> always got to watch ut. [laughter]
>> without objection. >> thank you. >> second thing, mr. tillerson, i want to just underscore a point, we talk about in the office, this has come up several times, and that is you keep referring to the fact of your concern in regards to the ukrainian sanctions that were imposed against russia for actions in ukraine that you were concerned that american companies could be at a disadvantage because of europe being treated differently, the grandfather's clause, et cetera, and we talk about leadership and it was very true on iran, and senator menendez took the leadership on this that, but for the u.s. leadership, we wouldn't have gotten other countries to act. if we take the position we're going to the low of the common denominator, we're not going to get anything done. you talked about being tough and taking tough positions, it requires leadership and requires us to be willing to go
the extra amount. and one last point on this, and i agree with senator corker, we've never had any administration believe that congress just take away their discretion, that is absolutely fact. whether it is a democrat or republican administration, they just as soon do away with congress, we understand that, we get it. you, i assume, understand the advantage we have in america with the separation of branches of government, and it could be helpful to you if you're confirmed as our principal negotiator to havelear directions from congress that you must impose sanctions, must impose sanctions unless you get real progress towards the issues in which those sanctions will be imposed. take advantage of the independent branch of government. work with us so you can have the strong tools to help america's interests.
i would take most of my time on this round to go over an issue that senator corker and i have been working through. i'm not going to spend time going over the issues on tax returns, and we'll save that for a different time for our committee because it involves an internal debate here more soo than our nominee, but as a result, i had sent to you 20 questions to answer that are related to the tax issues because we didn't have the tax returns, and before the close of business for asking questions, i will be proposing questions to you related to your tax issues in order to better understand areas that i think we need to have information on. we are concerned about the fact. i'm concerned, members of the committee are concerned, you're going to have private
interests, continue to operate a farm, charitable foundation, a real estate firm, a real estate partnership, we need to know a little more how that operates from the person who's going to be secretary of state? have you trusts that are being set up and how those payments are paid out over time, we need to have better understanding how that operates during your term, if you're confirmed as secretary of state? that type of information is useful to us. i'm still trying to figure out exactly how this trust that you're taking restricted stock, and if confirmed, selling it to become -- or they're putting cash in rather than restricting stock but you are able to withdraw the funds from the trust in the same schedule as i believe as the restricted stock would have become actionable, but as a result of that, you're
also putting contingencies on your receipts to defer the taxes or as i understand, defer taxes for a significant period of time. these are issues they think we have to have more transparency on because they're big dollars, $180 million, if i understand of restricted stocks, the tax consequences are $70 million, and these are not types of tools that can be used by average americans. i think we need to know more about those types of issues. we also have concern about making sure that all of your employees have been properly documented and taxes paid. that's a standard issue that's been raised in confirmation hearings, and senator corker and i may not think it's relevant to the final confirmations -- i shouldn't say relevant, determinative to the final confirmation but relevant for us to have that information before we make those answers. so mr. tillerson, i'm going to ask to you answer these
questions for the record. i hope we'll be able to get the cooperation in a timely way so the committee can have the information before we called to act upon your nomination. you can respond. >> i'm happy to try to answer the areas of concern you have, and i indicated that in the original questionnaire that it's my objective to address concerns you have. you know, i'm also, though, mindful of privacy issues that are afforded to every american and the privacy issues that are afforded under individual's tax returns, so i will do my best to answer the questions that you have, but i hope you'll also respect the privacy of myself and my family and the longstanding tradition of the privacy of individual's tax returns. >> and i can assure you that that will absolutely be observed, as i had explained to
senator corker, much of this information is not even reviewed by members, strictly people who can tell us whether we have a problem or not. i absolutely respect what you're saying and my full intentions are to fully maintain your legitimate rights of privacy. i look forward to following up on that, and i thank you for your reply. >> thank you, just for the edification of the committee. i think that it's true that over the last four years, i have worked as the lead republican on foreign relations to ensure that we move candidates out as quickly as possible, nominees. i think at every nomination's meeting we've had, that's been stated, and what i've shared with ranking member is we have a tradition here that we are following. this has not been a committee that asked for tax returns. it's asked for a disclosure
form, and just because we were so overwhelmingly helpful with a democratic president's nominees doesn't mean that we want to be changing the standards or unhelpful, if you will, under a republican nominee. so i just have tried to keep things exactly the same. exactly the say. disclosures are exactly the same. and you know, as far as getting into -- i've told senator cardon, if there is a substantial issue we need to look at that would affect senator tillerson's -- you don't want to be demoted to that -- [laughter] >> to nominee tillerson's role, if we need to have somebod from outside to do so. to get to silly questions that's not what we've done in this committee, and i hope we
will not turn this process into one that turns qualified people away from wanting to serve. so again, if there's some substantive issue that we need to pursue and get into private setting and have someone come in from accounting firm that really matters as it relates to his ability to not have conflicts as a secretary of state or something like that, i'm willing to look at it as i know he is, asking questions that are not in any way determinative to him are belittling to him, and the respect with which we've dealt with nominees and their privacy. but i thank you for working with me. >> will you just yield for one moment? i thank you for that, and i can assure you that the disagreement on supplying tax returns has nothing to do with mr. tillerson. it is a discussion we're having and not at all delayed any of
our operations and i fully expect that i will continue to use whatever means i can to change our committee practices so that we do have our nominees, as many other committees in the senate require to file tax returns, that's not unique. small business by senator shaheen requires -- the second point, very quickly, is that the second point, the ability of members to ask questions for the record, when they ask questions of the nominee is pretty well been respected and i would hope that that right would not be diminished, that we have the ability to ask questions of the witnesses in regards to areas that we think are important. no one in any way is trying to diminish that. i know you and i have agre on a series of questions that will come from the committee itself and mr. tillerson, as i understand it, is going answer those. i would think that absolutely
the arrangement that he has with exxon is something that should be fully vetted and everyone here understands that that is going to happen and he's going to make that all forth and have, actually. i would just say, again, we may wish to change our standards four years from now. our most recent secretary of state, as i understand it, was worth over a billion dollars, and all kinds of far-ranging investments, and as a committee, we never tried to force a tax return issue. they filled out the disclosures and we as a committee ask them questions. same thing happened with secretary clinton. all i'm trying to do is not in any way change the way that we operate because of the outcome
of an election, and continue to be, again, that island of bipartisanship where we continue to operate regardless who wins an election in the same manner. i'm in no way trying to infer that you're attempting to do that, i'm just telling you what i'm attempting to do. and with that, if we can close the matter out, i'll turn to mr. rubio. >> thank you, i provided you a copy of a bill filed in the last congress which i anticipate has or will be filed again in the new congress in the senate by my colleague senator flake and senato leahy. it would remove the travel ban to cuba by americans. if you are confirmed and that bill were to pass the congress, would you advise -- can you commit you would advise the president to veto that bill? >> senator, as to the current status of travel to cuba, that is going to be under discussion
with the president-elect. he's been fairly clear on his intent he's going to ask all agencies essentially on day one to do a complete review of recent executive orders in the change of the status of travel to cuba as well as business activities in cuba. it would be my expectation that the president would not immediately approve that bill until after that review occurred because that would be part of a broader view of our posture towards cuba. >> again, if he doesn't act on the bill, it would be law without his signature. at this time, you cannot commit to supporting a veto of that bill, should it pass? >> i would support a veto because i don't think we want to change the current status of things until we've completed that review. >> okay, that was the question i wanted to get to. let me ask you this, if the bill were to pass congress, that would remove the u.s. embargo against cuba and haven't been democratic changes on the island of cuba, would you advise the president to veto a bill that lifted the
embargo in cuba. >> if confirm, yes, i would. >> can you commit that you would advise the president to reverse many, ot all of the obama administration's cuba regulations and executive orders regarding cuba that were recently submitted in 2014? >> as indicated, i expect a comprehensive review of the executive orders from the state department perspective would want to examine carefully the criteria under which cuba was delisted from the list of terrorist nations that support terrorism, and whether or not that delisting was appropriate and whether or not the circumstances which led to the delisting still exist. >> you do not currently have an opinion as to whether cuba belongs on the list of terror sponsors? >> i would need to examine all the criteria that were used to make the current determination, and then utilizing the expertise of those in the state department, again, informed by
the interagency process to look at the criteria that would put cuba back on the list. >> as i'm sure you are aware, there is a dispute between china and japan over the concern of the island chain, if china were to take over the island chain for military force, would you respond with the u.s. military force to prevent that from happening? >> we have longstanding support with japan and south korea and respond in accordance with those are accords which are not a nato-type agreement but made commitments to japan in terms of a guarantee of their defense. >> i want to, because in your opening remarks you referred to human rights and i'm glad that you did, and i wanted to walk you through a few examples quickly. i shared with you when we met on monday a political prisoner database maintained by the executive commission on china contains 1400 active records of
individuals known or believed to be in detention, do you believe china is one of the world's worst human rights violations. >> china has serious human rights violations i would have to have more information, but they certainly have serious human rights violations. >> okay, since president rodrigo duterte took office last june, the "los angeles times" reports 6200 people have been killed by police and vigilantes in alleged drug raids.is this the right way to conduct an antidrug campaign? >> senator, the u.s., america, the people of the philippines have a longstanding freeway. it's important that we keep that in perspective in engaging with the government philippines that that longstanding friendship, and they have been an ally and need to make sure they remain an ally. >> my question is the 6200
people killed in the alleged drug raids, do you believe that is appropriate way to conduct that operation, or do you believe that's something that is conducive to human rights violations we should be concerned about and condemning? >> senator, if confirmed, it's an area i want to understand in greater detailed in terms of facts on the ground. i'm not disputing anything you are saying, you have information that i do not have. >> this is from the los angeles times. >> i'm not going to rely on solely what i read in the newspapers. i will go to the facts on the ground. i'm sure there is good credible information available through our various government agencies. >> well, one of the sources for that number in the campaign in nature is president duterte himself who openly brags about the people shot and killed on the streets who he has determined are drug dealers without any trial. if, in fact, he continues to brag about it, would be that reliable information you would look at and say it's happening. what's happening in the philippines is not intelligence
issue, it is openly reported, in multiple press accounts, the president-elect has spoken about it and quite frankly the president of the philippines admitted to it, in fact brags about it. my question is, is that in your opinion an appropriate way to act and should it influence our relationship with the philippines? >> if the facts are, in fact, supportive of those numbers and action, i don't think any of us would accept that as a proper way to deal with offenders, no matter how egregious the offenders may be. >> i'm sure you are aware of the lack of both religious freedoms and the rights and lack of rights of women in saudi arabia. in your opinion, is saudi arabia a human rights violator? >> saudi arabia does not share the same values of america. however american interests have been advocating in saudi arabia for sometime,ing and the question is what is the pace of progress that should be expected for the kingdom of
saudi arabia to advance rights to women and others in the country. >> as it currently stands, do you consider what they're doing to be human rights violations? >> i would need greater information, senator, to make a true determination of that. >> you're not familiar for state of affairs for women, what life is like for women, they can't drive. people jailed and lashed. you are familiar with all of that? >> yes, senator, i'm familiar with all of that. >> what more information would you need? >> in terms of when you designate somee or label someone, the question is, is that the most effective way to have progress continue to be made in saudi arabia or any other country. my interest is the same as yours, our interests are the same, senator, there seems to be an understanding i see the world in a different lens. i do not. i share all the same values that you share want and the same things for people the
world over in terms of freedoms, but i'm also clear-eyed and realistic about dealing in cultures. these are centuries long cultures and cultural differences. doesn't mean we can't affect them and affect them to change. over many, many years i've been traveling the kingdom. the pace is slower than we wish. there is a change under way in the kingdom of saudi arabia. if they ever arrive to the same value system we have, i can't predict that. what i do believe is it is moving in the direction that we want it to move. what i wouldn't want to do is take some kind of precipitous action that cause the leadership in the kingdom of saudi arabia to have to interrupt. that i'd like for them to continue to make that progress. >> thank you. >> senator menendez? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. tillerson -- trish: a heated exchange between marco rubio and rex tillerson. several heated exchanges or at
least two between marco rubio and rex tillerson today. the latest one was around the world where he asked him about a variety of places, variety of countries and specifically that last exchange was about saudi arabia and whether or not rex tillerson would declare that saudi arabia was, in fact, a human rights violator. sort of went around that a little bit. marco rubio kept going back to the point finally where tillerson had to say, look, we're on the same page, we don't really differ in terms of our goals, senator. we want to talk more about this in terms of how the hearings are going. why it is marco rubio seems to be a little contentious today? joining me is the navy s.e.a.l. who killed osama bin laden, robert o'neill. former deputy assistant to president george w. bush, brad blakeman. am i reading too much into it
or marco getting feisty? >> seems as if he's got a bit of a bone to pick with rex tillerson, he was going around the world with everything. trish: i know we heard cuba. >> russia, philippines, china, defend south korea and japan against china's aggression with military force and last time i check in my experience in the military is not up to the secretary of state to decide military force, that would be something that general mattis and the secretary of defense would be about. trish: you are answering some of the questions, you have to be extremely careful. if someone is asking you whether or not vladimir putin committed war crimes and you say in front of world, yes. all of a sudden we're escalating ourselves with a situation with russia we don't want to be in right now. >> the department of state is about diplomacy, he's brought in because of his vast experience with exxon, being diplomatic and going o there on the first or second dayyou don't call someone a war crimal.
you don't say, yeah, we will use military force against china. these are bold statements. trish: some ways sort of silly questions, brad blakeman, but i suppose marco rubio wants his chance in the sun, another one who wants opportunity in the limelight seems to be cory booker, senator from new jersey going hearing to hearing, first grilling jeff sessions and later heard him in a heated exchange or heated on his part with rex tillerson where he accused him of not necessarily having the transparency that one would want the american public would want as secretary of state, in terms of the press corps and the ability to communicate. your thoughts on that? >> i think cory booker did himself a disservice, did a disservice to the body that he belongs to. that's the u.s. senate. he broke tradition, first time in history a u.s. senator recused himself voting on a nominee to take the witness chair.
he could have done the same thing by questioning the nominee from the deis. he didn't have to be in the witness chair. he chose to do that because it was politically expedient to do that. doing it for his base. i would say it's a shame not only on the record of cory booker but also a stain on the u.s. senatthat he is the first senator to do what he did and didn't have to do it. trish: one would anticipate a lot of that. the democrats are struggling for some kind of leadership, so in the free for all, where you have a power vacuum, if you would, and no one is standing up and being the spokesperson for the party or the leader of the party have you folks like cory booker and there will be multiples of cory booker out there looking for their chance in the sun? >> no doubt about it, but, look, cory booker was doing this for his own political career, appealing to his base. when he was put there to ask pointed questions that the
american people had on their mind to determine whether or not this person is qualified. that's his job. trish: rob, what do you think how tillerson has feared so far? he's been right down the middle. >> he's doing a great job. he's very thoughtful. on the pointed questions, he's smart enough to say i'm going wait until i have all the information before i start to speak about it. speaking about leadership, exxonmobil is one of the best, well-managed companies in the world. trish: and not to mention in some ways you've almost -- it's different because you are acting on behalf of shareholders' interests as opposed to on behalf of the united states government and taxpayers' interests, but running a company like exxonmobil like running a country. that's a big company that has interests all over the world. >> 260 billion in annual revenue. and also as the ceo of exxonmobil, the buck stops with him. the department of state with secretary clinton and secretary
kerry, they didn't need to make the decision, the president makes it. he's used to make decisions, either pass fail and can yo lose your job that way. trish: has the executive capacity. i was saying off camera to rob, that it's refreshing to see these people that have been successful in things other than politics, that will have a position in this administration, and, you know, for all the reasons that i think america elected donald trump, they wanted to see someone like the ceo of exxonmobil. they didn't want to see a hack politician in that job, but you know a lot of hack politicians don't like this threat. they don't like the idea of someone worth many, many millions, hundreds of millions of dollars occupying such an important space in their world. >> there's no doubt about it. these guys are bottom line guys. they wouldn't be where they are, the men and women attracted from business to government service if they weren't successful.
either they get the job done or get booted. in washington, it doesn't happen that way. you don't get the job done, you know what? you might get re-elected. by the way, the buck stops with the president. he's the president's point person on the president's policy on foreign policy. by the way, tillerson sees the world the way it is, not the way he wishes or hopes it would be. that's the reality of a businessman. he has to deal without the benefit of having a government behind him. he's got to rise and fall on his own relationships and deals but has to do it in the world we exist in. that's the important part. we have to deal in reality which we haven't been doing in america. we speak to impose our will in the last eight years. trish: that's an interesting point, and i think a lot of americans are sick of being in the battles in the world that we shouldn't be in, but you know what? if we get in them, we ought to be able to win them and ought to equip our troops with the proper resources so that they can go in and get out and do what they need to do.
donald trump and rex tillerson need deterrent. we can't defend everything, as long as countries who we're allied know we'll back them, they will be better with their own defense. we need leadership. it is kind of chaotic right now. hoping to see change. philippines, china, i don't think we spread ourselves that thin, leadership is something we'll need for sure. trish: it will be interesting to see. so far he is doing okay. i got to hand it to him in terms of body language as well. not easy when you're getting
fired at like this, he seems to maintain a lot of composure thus far. success as we see it right now for rex tillerson. we'll see whether or not he is confirmed. the hearings will continue. i want to thank robert and brad being here today. liz claman, sending it over to you. liz: trish, got to tell you what just happened in that hearing. we had senator bob menendez of new jersey questioning rex tillerson, the secretary of state candidate, about mexico, referring back what donald trump said about the start of his campaigns, that some mexicans are racists and murders, menendez pointedly asking tillerson, i jusheard this, so it was pretty interesting, wou you say that about mexico? rex tillerson saying i would never characterize mexico or any nation as all rapists and murderers. mexico is a friend of this nation. what we're getting final hour of trade, serious clarity from